Is Stevie Nicks damaging the Fleetwood Mac legacy?

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Will Fleetwood Mac release a new studio album?
Will Stevie Nicks join the band in recording the album?
Will Stevie Nicks tour again with Fleetwood Mac?
Is there a future for Fleetwood Mac?

So many questions, all without any real answers from the band, other then Stevie Nicks is touring her 2014 album “24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault” making up time the gave to Fleetwood Mac for the “On With The Show” that brought Christine McVie back into Fleetwood Mac.

However, the rest of the band (well that is not technically accurate as John McVie does not generally say anything to the press) have been talking about recording new music for a new potential Fleetwood Mac studio album and the possibility of another worldwide tour that is likely to be scheduled to co-incide with the 40th anniversary of Rumours, as well as the 50th anniversary of the band being formed and the 30th anniversary of Tango In The Night and 20th anniversary of The Dance (Fleetwood Mac seem to have a thing for years with seven in them!!)

But, Stevie Nicks appears not to be committing to the band, is she about to splinter the group and and force a Fleetwood, McVie, McVie and Buckingham version of the band to cement their legacy in the huge commercial opening that will begin next year within the anniversary year for Fleetwood Mac, this I s likely their last hurrah before old father time call’s it a day.

Let’s look at some facts, since Christine McVie left Fleetwood Mac back in 1998 after the successful tour and album that was “The Dance”, Stevie Nicks rode the re-established postive wave of Fleetwood Mac love for all it was worth with a 3 CD career retrospective “The Enchanted Works Of Stevie Nicks” and commenced a tour playing some her of deep cuts from her back catalogue. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie stayed out of site and Lindsey Buckingham wrested with what to do with the body of work that he had built up since his last solo release. Stevie Nicks continued her solo activities with 2001’s “Trouble In Shangri-La” album and took the album out on the road for a North American tour.

However, at this time something was brewing within Fleetwood Mac, the four-piece of Fleetwood, McVie (John), Buckingham and Nicks had decided that another studio album was called for and as Stevie Nicks was completing her touring commitments, the rest of the band started work on a new album that would be released in 2003 and titled as “Say You Will”, in addition the band commenced on two year world-wide tour to support the album.

Stevie has been on record on how she did not enjoy the recording sessions for “Say You Will’, nor enjoyed the subsequent tour, she spoke of really missing the presence of Christine McVie and even implied that ‘if‘ she were tour with Fleetwood Mac again, then another female would be needed to be added to the band, this spawned the bizarre idea that Sheryl Crow would join the band. (Sheryl did not subsequently join the band).

Bringing the story a little more up to date, as we approached 2008/09 and the subsequent solo activities from Lindsey Buckingham (two solo albums, one live album and two solo tours) and from Stevie Nicks (a greatest hits collection, a live album and constant touring) has passed, the future of Fleetwood Mac was again on the table, Lindsey Buckingham was very keen on following up ‘Say You Will’ with another studio album and subsequent tour, Mick and John seemed to be on-board with this direction, but there was a problem, Stevie Nicks has decided that due to the internet and music privacy that albums no longer sell and that Fleetwood Mac should not bother, her reasoning was ‘let’s go out and play the hits’ and this turned out to the 2009 ‘Unleashed’ tour that was again performed by the four-piece of Fleetwood, McVie (John), Buckingham and Nicks and was the first time that the Buckingham/Nicks incarnation of the band has ever toured without a new studio or live album to promote. The ‘Unleashed’ tour was successful and brought this phase of Fleetwood Mac to another end.

Again, a period of solo activity commenced again with another new solo album and tour form Lindsey Buckingham and surprisingly a solo album and tour from Stevie Nicks (remember that albums no longer sell, but this did not stop Stevie releasing ‘In Your Dreams”).

In 2013 the time came up again to discuss the future of Fleetwood Mac as a working, touring band, again Lindsey, Mick and John were keen to make a new studio album, but again (do you see a pattern here) Stevie Nicks was not keen, somehow the band agreed that they would release a four track EP that was imaginably titled as “Extended Play”, this collection of songs contained three tracks from Lindsey Buckingham and an old Buckingham/Nicks outtake that Stevie Nicks contributed. Fleetwood Mac agreed to tour throughout 2013 and this was a greatest hits type of tour again, however something unexpected and magical happened…

At the end of the 2013 tour on the stops in England, Christine McVie requested to join the band on-stage to perform “Don’t Stop”, this led to Christine officially re-joining the band and the hasty booking of another world tour that would be billed as “On With The Show” where the five-piece toured extensively throughout 2014 and 2015.

Just before the “On With The Show” tour, Stevie found time to re-enter the studio and cut a deep cut album of old outtakes and demos from her previous solo album, this was titled as “24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vaults”, but Stevie was unable to tour this record as this clashed with the lucrative Fleetwood Mac “On With The Show” tour with the returning Christine McVie.

As the logistics for the “On With The Show” tour were being prepared, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie found time to re-enter the studio and start working on new tracks for a proposed Fleetwood Mac album, these tracks have working titles such as “Carnival Began”, “Red Sun”, “How I Feel” and “Too Far Gone”. Christine McVie gave an interview to The L.A Times back in May 2014 where it was mentioned that Lindsey and Christine have written and recorded eight new songs, which will help populate a new Fleetwood Mac album along with seven or eight more the band recorded about 18 months ago while gearing up for a 2013 tour.

“I committed to join the band hook, line and sinker — recording, everything,”

Christine McVie, L.A Times. May 2nd, 2014 .

The band subsequently set off on the “On With The Show” tour that took the five-piece across North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, the tour lasted until November 2015 with limited time to pick up the recording of the new album. However once rested after the tour the ‘fan expectation‘ was that the band, including Stevie Nicks would finish off the album, ready for a 2017 release that would tie-in nicely with the commercial window of the various band and album release anniversaries, but one person in the band had other ideas…

Fast track to Sept 2016, and Stevie Nicks announces a live tour to promote her solo album from 2014 “24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault”, this tour initially was till Dec 2016 and has now been extended to a second leg in 2017, more worrying is that in recent interview Stevie Nicks has again implied that she does not want a new Fleetwood Mac album and that the band should just tour again, albums don’t sell anyone, so why bother.

“The only reason that I don’t really wanna do a record is because I think that, in a year and a half, we’ll probably go out and do another Fleetwood Mac tour, since Christine has come back,”

“Do we want to go and close ourselves up in a studio for a year, [and] make a record that’s really good but that probably won’t sell, because records don’t really sell that much?” she asks. “And then we’ll have been stuffed together for a year in one room, and…when you come out of that room, we may not want to go on a tour!”

“I think that we should choose the tour over the record,” she tells ABC Radio. “Because touring is much more fun than making a record when you don’t have any idea how that record’s gonna come out.”

Stevie Nicks, ABC Radio. Dec 2nd 2016.

Christine, Lindsey and Mick have stressed their desire to continue Fleetwood Mac as a working, recording and touring band, they feel that a new album will cement their legacy, the fan-base are desperate for a new album, but Stevie Nicks is not on-board. Potentially the newly recorded tracks may get some type of release on a Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie collaboration album, with Mick and John playing drums and bass, isn’t this Fleetwood Mac! or does Stevie Nicks hold all the cards here and will she decline the band their legacy and the fan-base one last album of the five fireflies.

I hope to write another paragraph to this article within 2017, where Fleetwood Mac collectively come to their senses, put the petty in-band fighting behind them and release a true artistic statement and tour the hell out of new material and their classic hits before calling it a day, here’s hoping that 2017 will bring forward this next chapter…

Article from Fleetwood Mac UK ‘Go Your Own Way’
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